If you are anything like me, pay day generally means “Let’s go out for supper” or “I can buy the fancy groceries now”. And then two weeks later, you’re counting your coins or having to choose between eating and putting in petrol.
Whenever I have zero money, I start regretting past financial decisions. “I can’t believe I bought that dress two years ago” is a thought that has crossed my mind multiple times.
Most blog posts about saving money are going to tell you to budget correctly. While that is great advice, it is a preventative strategy. Today we’re talking about how you can get through the month when you already have very little money. Budgeting is really important but if you’ve already blown your budget and there are a few days left of the month, this blog post is for you!
So, here are some ways you can save money and spend wisely when you have very little left to spend:
Socialize for free
And no, I’m not saying you should ask your friends to pay for you. I’m saying you should do things that are free. Invite friends over for a games night instead of going out for drinks. Go for a walk with your bestie instead of sitting down for coffee. Put together a picnic instead of going out for a meal. If your friends are wanting to spend time with you, don’t make up a silly excuse so you won’t have to tell anyone you actually can’t afford to hangout. Rather come up with something creative, because there is bound to be another friend who would benefit from a free activity.
Save petrol money by sharing lifts with work colleagues or friends who are going to the same place as you.
If you know you are getting paid in three days, for example, prioritize the important things: like food and petrol. Create a mini budget for the next couple of days and stick to it.
Only buy the basics
You don’t need a takeaway coffee. You don’t need to pay for a bag of grated cheese when you can grate it yourself. You don’t need that new t-shirt. Only spend money on the things you really need.
If you’ve got an unused guitar in your cupboard, now might be the time to try and sell it online. A little bit of extra money for something you don’t even use may be the only way to get through a sticky financial situation.
This is another one that requires a little bit of thinking ahead. If you’ve been accumulating eBucks, you could use them to fill up your car with petrol. You may also qualify for a free coffee if you’ve been stamping your Woolworths card.
Add carbs to your diet
Tim Noakes would hate me for saying this, but the whole banting lifestyle just isn’t affordable. I believe in eating healthy foods and limiting my carb intake, but when it comes to the end of the month, sometimes the only thing you can do is bulk up your meals by adding carbs. A pack of mince could be one meal for two people, or it could be two meals for two people if you add pasta or rolls. Earlier this week we used one pack of mince and a few other ingredients to make supper for two nights. This is what we did:
We cooked our mince with garlic, spices and one can of tomato and onion mix. We bought a cheap bag of Doritos and used them as the base of our nachos. The added extras were: one avo plus a little bit of yoghurt to make a delicious guacamole; a basic corn salsa and a little bit of cheese.
The second half of our mince mix was added to a basic macaroni and cheese recipe (pasta + cheese sauce made from scratch).
I’m keen to hear how you’ve stretched out your money and made it to the end of the month. Leave a comment in the comment box below and share your wisdom with me!